Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Printable version E-mail this to a friend

MCA response to MAIB fishing vessel safety analysis 1992-2006

MCA response to MAIB fishing vessel safety analysis 1992-2006

MARITIME AND COASTGUARD AGENCY News Release (380/08) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 28 November 2008

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency today welcomed the publication of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) Fishing Vessel Safety Analysis 1992 to 2006, which will provide a major contribution to improving the safety of fishermen and reducing the toll of accidents and deaths.

The MAIB Analysis, reviews many accidents and brings together lessons learnt over a fairly long period which MCA support as a sound basis for making recommendations based on trends, which is a necessary complement to, and improves upon, the work done in responding to the findings of individual accidents.

MCA monitor all reported accidents which occur on fishing vessels, and takes account of the MAIB accident investigations and their recommendations. Action is being taken by MCA in a number of different areas all connected with improving safety, for example, by extending training of fishermen, better quality and more consistent inspections, and development of new codes of practice in consultation with industry. In this regard, MCA have been working much more closely with industry representatives who themselves are keen to ensure that safety is continually improved

The MAIB report makes a number of further recommendations which MCA will consider over the coming months and take forward with the aim of improving safety.

Notes for Editors

Improving Consistency:

1. MCA has carried out a re-organisation of it's headquarters and as part of that has introduced three posts of "Technical Performance Manager", whose primary responsibility will be to monitor and ensure consistency of surveys and inspections around the UK. Based in the regions, within a Marine Office, they will be close to the front line activities but will report to HQ - Head of Ship Safety. Greater attention will be paid to completion of mandatory training, carrying out emergency drills and completion of all periodic surveys and inspections by the correct dates.

2. MCA has completed drafting work and intends to consult on a new statutory instrument to underpin: a new code of practice for the construction and safe operation of fishing vessels of 24 metres registered length and over; a revision of the 15-24 metre code; the reintroduction of stability requirements for 12-15 metre fishing vessels; the mandatory reporting of fishing vessel modifications; the introduction of liferaft requirements for 7-15 metre vessels and a certification requirement for small fishing vessels.

3. A trial is being carried out of utilising specialist teams of inspectors to inspect fishing vessels of under 15 metres in length and where practicable to carry out inspections on vessels greater than 9 metres using better qualified and experienced surveyors. The results of the trial will be used to determine the practicalities of adopting this system around the UK, but taking account of the geographic distribution of fishing vessels in the remote areas.

Further Recommendations:

4. A review of the legislation, guidance and instructions will be carried out to determine how risk assessments can be used to include risks which imperil the vessels while working and at sea, including environmental hazards, condition of the vessel and stability. This will also look into application of the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) Regulations to investigate the practicalities of applying the regulations to all fishermen, irrespective of their contractual status.

5. Proposals will be developed for a research project for [2010-11] to examine the improvements made in other hazardous industries, such as agriculture, construction and offshore sectors, with the objective of identifying and transferring best practice to the fishing industry.

For further information please contact
Maritime and Coastguard Agency Press Office, on:
(023) 8032 9401

Press releases and further information about the Agency is available on the Web at

Universal Credit...meeting the verification challenge and cutting costs...find out more